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Jason Ulim Kim & Bilal Hashmi
"Cybernetique: A Manifesto for the Digital Age"

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2007
Media Insurgencies: Panel Discussion

11 – 1 p.m. Polycentric Session, UC-Berkeley, Townsend Center for the Humanities
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Communities, cultures and personal networks are being created in cyberspace every day, radically altering our social fabric and real-world power relations. At once a brave new world and a mere reflection of longstanding, global disparities—in terms of ethnicity and language among several social markers —cyberspace is precisely the sort of terrain on which notions of global citizenship and subjectivity can most fruitfully be rearticulated.

Though we agree with the feminist scholarship on this subject that cyberspace could provide a means to contest bodily inscriptions such as race and gender, we argue that cyberspace can also provide a new means to reify these categories of difference. Cybernetic entities, quite apart from being inhuman “cyborgs”, are in fact deeply embedded in, and just as subject to the docilization of bodies as it occurs in “real life”.

To prove this, we proffer the examples of identity and linguistic politics online in order to reaffirm that cyberspace is still very much a thoroughly contested space, one that is driven by market forces and structures of power/surveillance as much as it is by its enterprising individuals.

Participant Bios:

Bilal Hashmi completed his M.A. in English and South Asian Studies at the University of Toronto in 2007. His interests are interdisciplinary in nature, and include critical theory, translation studies and comparative literature. He is currently the Managing Editor of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East (Duke University Press).

Jason Ulim Kim was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and got his B.A. in History and Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2007. His research interests include postcolonial studies, postmodern philosophy, and cyberculture(s). Jason is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Berkeley. Political Science at the University of Toronto in 2007. His research interests include postcolonial studies, postmodern philosophy, and cyberculture(s). Jason is currently pursuing a PhD in Ethnic Studies at the University of California-Berkeley.